Keeping your pond plants blooming
When evaluating the health of your pond and in particular your plant material, there are a few simple guidelines to follow that will prove useful in keeping your pond plants blooming all summer.
Regular Water Changes
On a weekly or at least bi-monthly basis, you should perform a 15% water change. The benefits of this process are numerous, but let's cover a few. First, in nature, there are very few totally closed bodies of water. Rain naturally provides regular fresh water to most of these systems. In a pond, you are attempting to replicate a slice of the natural world, and new water is new life. When you complete water changes on a regular basis not only do you remove dissolved wastes and nitrates, you add vital trace minerals. Plants and fish alike need these replenished trace minerals for optimal health. Do water changes religiously! This procedure alone will have more impact on your pond plant health than any other
In the summer months, your plants should be vigorously growing. You will need to trim off old leaves to make room for new growth. If you have plant material that is growing out of its original pot, this would be the time to divide those plants. Some plants, such as duckweed, hyacinths, and other floating material, will aggressively take over if left unchecked. You may need to remove some of these to keep your remaining plants healthy.
With the majority of your ornamental plants, you need to give them a few fertilizer tablets at the beginning of each season and when you replant them. I recommend Aquatic plant food tablets by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. This is a package of 25 tablets and retail for $5.99. To keep you plants blooming season long feed them one to two tablets once a month until temperatures exceed 70 degrees, then feed them twice a month. Stop plant feedings in the fall when temperatures consistently fall below 60 degrees. An alternative to this form of fertilizing is by using the Zamzows Thrive. This is an all-natural fertilizer that can be applied by dipping your potted plants into a mixed solution. Mix 1 oz Thrive per gallon of water into a 5-gallon container/tub remove your potted plants from your pond and place into this solution for one hour. This method is a little more time consuming but offers a complete feeding to your plants.
There are numerous periodicals that will prove helpful in increasing your overall pond plant knowledge. I recommend The Simple Guide to Garden Ponds by Terry Anne Barber. You will discover that here are several other factors that will affect your pond plant condition to a lesser degree. However, by following the above guidelines, your overall plant health will not only improve dramatically, your plant bloom time will increase as well.